• Quick List

    Explained
    • • Visit the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park
    • Attempt to donate blood
    • • Hike the Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina portions of the Appalachian Trail
    • Sky dive
    • Pay off accrued debt with parents
    • • Pay off one of my three student loans
    • Learn to Snowboard
    • Hunt a deer
    • Learn to fly fish
    • Make a wood desk or furniture item from scratch
    • Read the Bible all the way through again
    • Play a full round of golf
    • Visit the Biltmore House
    • Return to UT for a football game
    • Grow facial hair for a month just to see what it looks like
    • • Get licensed in Counseling
    • • Get BachelorBytes website started
    • • Get weight below 200 pounds
    • Edit My Grandparents’ Historical Videos into a DVD
    • Visit either Wrigley Field or Fenway Park for a game
    • Ride on a motorcycle
    • Make my "40 Things to do Before Turning 40" List
    • • Attempt a back flip off the ground
    • Learn to sew on a button and fix a seam
    • Run a 10K
    • Complete the outline for my book/screenplay
    • Watch The American Film Institute's entire top 100 List
    • Sponsor a child through Compassion International
    • Work on a Habitat house
    • • Learn to play three full songs on the piano
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The List is Complete…Sort of…And To Be Continued…

I first want to thank everyone who helped complete these goals as well as everyone who has tuned into this site to provide encouragement. Over the 30 months that I worked on this list, my blog got over 13,000 hits!!! And not only that, people all over the world viewed the page and made comments. If you want to check out any parts of my site for review, I have provided the handy tabs at the top for some of the bigger items and have categorized my goals on the drop down menu over here on the right below my picture.

As one can plainly see, there are items on this list that are not crossed off. And because I am officially 30 today, some may even look at that as a failure. I do not. This list was personal to me and my aspirations but it was also an extremely ambitious project with the time constraints and financial concerns.

Most people make a “bucket list.” I chose to instead make a more time sensitive list of things I would like to do. So for instance, many put “Skydiving” on their bucket list and keep putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. Because I knew I wanted to do this by 30, I found a deal and forfeited my fear of heights to get it done by the time I turned 30. There are a lot of things on this list that I would have procrastinated on had I not made this list. I know for a fact that with out this list I would not have gone skydiving and definitely would still not have donated blood. I also would not have run a 10K. Many things were only completed in the last several weeks as it was. But because I gave myself a deadline, I was anxious to get them done. The list also took away a lot of excuses when someone offered to help me complete a goal.

Shortly after creating the list, the economy tanked and my company essentially put us on a two-year pay freeze. Money I had been expecting never rolled in and I did not find a higher paying job. This put an immediate strain on any travel and reimbursement of loans. While I was able to find a cheap flight and stay for free in Boston to complete my trip to Fenway, I could not find the deals for the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. While I was able to save some money and pay back my parents, I was not able to pay off one of my student loans in its entirety.

Other goals needed physical requirements to complete. I got down to as low as 214 pounds before starting a new a schedule and having to see my exercise decrease. I still want to lose the weight but it will take more time and better commitment. I have abandoned the goal of a back flip. I watched a bunch of youtube videos for pointers and saw waaay to many people crack their skulls or injure their necks.

I fully intended to get licensed in Counseling but did not anticipate that the North Carolina Licensure Board would be the biggest bunch of bureaucratic &*^%$#@*& and #$!@&$#* furthermore they are $*%&$!@ and can go $(%*^&!! Essentially they changed the rules mid-game and did not inform me and in fact lied to misinformed me about it. I have nothing in writing because of the above edited statements so I essentially I got screwed over with some other applicants and have to get a years worth more of supervised hours if I went at it full-time. I have taken a break until 2012 when the board has the opportunity to get some more practical and common sense members.

And then there were a few goals that I just never made the appropriate time for. Namely, BachelorBytes and learning the piano. Both are somewhat in process. I have the BachelorBytes site up but do not have the video content I need on there. I have tried my hand at the piano a few times but need a ton of work and find my manual dexterity lacking.

The big question is how did I do? I successfully completed 22 of my 30 goals. Four are technically in process, one goal is stalled and one has been abandoned entirely. With the exception of the backflip, all of the ones I did not complete (seven of them) have been moved onto my 40 by 40 list. Just because I did not get them done by the time I turned 30 does not mean I am giving up on them. It just means I have a bit more time to try them.

One of the bright sides of this list is the lasting impact. I will never again have the same hesitation to donate blood. I actually look forward to jumping out of a plane again. I am better at woodworking because of my desk and working on a Habitat house. I am sponsoring Chintesh and hope to get him through highschool. Since running the 10K I have run one more 10K, 2 5Ks, I am training for my first half marathon and ran 100 miles in the month of May by itself. Keep in mind when I started this list, I could not run two-miles at all.

The list also gave birth to new projects and ambitions. I would encourage everyone to make a list like this because if you are forced to push yourself, you never know how your life can change through experiences such as these that can shape you.

Again, thanks for stopping in. It has been a thrilling past 30 months. I will be back to complete my movie reviews and encourage you to stop back to watch the videos of my grandparents as well as to see if any posts have been updated since I will post the final pictures of my desk and make some other updates. You can follow me on twitter @TheKevinLock and follow my new adventures on my new site 40todoby40. This site is still connected to my email so feel free to continue to leave questions or comments.

See you later!

Kevin T. Lock

Sponsor a Child Through Compassion International – Complete

I do not have many details about this one because I am still waiting for my packet to come in the mail. But here is what I know:

I have officially sponsored a child named Chintesh in India. He lives outside the city of Nagpur and the average income in the area is around $53 per month for a household. He is 10 years old and likes playing ball and reading. He lives with both of his parents and attends school and church.

The money I am sending through Compassion International will help pay for schooling for him as well as nutritious food and other things. It will also help to support income generating programs for his parents so they may become more self-sufficient. I have had a heart for India for a long time and have wanted to go there. I am glad that I can provide this very small impact in a meaningful way. I hope to write to Chintesh frequently to encourage him with his schooling and ambitions as well as to let him know that someone is thinking about and praying for him.

If you have never head of Compassion International, please check out their website. They change lives of children and families who have no other support. They are a very responsible company as they are frequently audited and come out perfect. Over 82% of donations go directly to the needs of the child and family while the rest is used for administration and future fundraising to get more donors. Please check them out and if you can find $38 a month, support a child in need. They are such beautiful children and deserve a better chance in this world.

Watch The American Film Institute’s Entire Top 100 List – Complete

On Sunday I finally was able to complete this long and tedious goal of watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies of all time. I tried to write reviews for every movie I watched but that became tedious because to watch 100 movies takes enough time out of my life. While I made it through all 100 movies, I could only review 52 of them before time became too much of a factor. I will eventually circle back around to finish my reviews but for right now I am satisfied enough that I was able to watch all 100. As much flack as Netflix has gotten recently, I could not have done it without them as they had all 100 movies some of which date back to 1916.

So what did I think of the list? As you can see on my review list, I did not think they were all winners. You can see why by clicking on the various links. But I know that there is so much more that goes into a movie besides the story, acting and characters. Some of the movies made this list because of their lasting impact on the movies we watch today and just don’t think about. For instance, “North By Northwest”, while a thrilling Hitchcock movie, was the first movie to use scrolling credits. “It’s a Wonderful Life” was the first movie to use a zoom shot. These are just a few examples. Sure some of the movies on the list were put there because of a lasting cultural impact or because the acting was so good combined with a great story that it was nominated for a dozen academy awards. “Titanic” most likely made the list because he blew box office ticket sales out of the water compare to anything that had come before.

I think most of these movies were well worth watching and I discovered some new gems like “Sunrise” and “The Sound of Music” that I never would have seen had it not been for this list.

I would highly recommend journeying through this list with an open mind but to watch them all. There will be some you hate and some new ones you will love but over all I feel like my view of history and cinema as been drastically shaped.

Make a Wood Desk or Furniture Item from Scratch – Complete

I have had this beautiful wooden desk since I was at least five years old and maybe longer than that. The problem with it was that it was to small. I could not slide an office chair under it which meant I had to lean forward to do anything on my desk. Also, once I put my laptop on it, there was not much surface area left.

So when I decided on my wood building project, I briefly flirted with the idea of making adirondack chairs for the deck but ultimately knew my desk would take center stage.

Rather than simply build an entirely new desk, I decided to take the base structure of my old desk and add on to it. this way, I could preserve much of the history of my old desk but modernize it a bit. I have kept the main two legs complete with the drawers and original fixtures. I removed the center drawer in order to widen the desk and then have built a support structure on to the back and sides in order to support a much bigger top.

I still need to add some trim to tidy up the look and feel of the desk and then rout a design into the top edges before I can stain it. But, this desk is pretty much complete in that it is currently functional. Everything else is aesthetics at this point and because it is design work, I am going to make sure that I get the final look and feel I want. I am happy to have this complete and look forward to using it for another 25+ years.

Read the Bible All the Way Through Again – Complete

As of today, August 12, 2011, I have completed this goal. It was definitely one of the more time-consuming goals as I started my journey way back in April of 2009 and have been steadily plugging away at it since then. I began by reading a 727 commentary on the book of Genesis and quickly realized that I could not do a commentary for each book in the Bible because I would never make it through. I did however use a study Bible that had hundreds of notes and extra details about the passages to really help me learn as I read.

I think most people have the wrong impression of the Bible. Both Christians and non-Christians alike. Many Christians see it a personal letter to them from God that details the specific plans for their lives and teaches them that they are more righteous than those who do not belive the same thing. Many non-Christians see it as either fictional and/or some rule book that they don’t feel like they should adhere to and therefore don’t like or don’t care about those that use it as such. I have said “many” and may have unfairly categorized you. If it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t apply. But look at the conversations being had in our culture and you can see the opposition of those camps.

Sure the Bible is filled with laws for moral living and stories and instructions aimed at living a better life. But it is sooooo much more than that. It is a love story written from a creator to his creation. It shows that God as creator fully intended to hand over a perfect world to his creation but his creation rebelled. But God did not give up. At every step He tried to steer His creation back into his loving embrace. But because free-will was required for true love, His creation was free to turn away and often did. Sometimes they turned to other gods and put them as greater than their creator. Sometimes they made themselves, their intentions, or their possessions more important than God. Still, God did not give up on His creation.

Knowing that he was perfect and His creation never could be, he set up atonements through animal sacrifice where His imperfect creation could demonstrate their repentance for their follies (sins) and He could see them as His redeemed creation again. But still His people would take their forgiveness for granted and rebel again and again and again. But God was not done with His creation.

God took his son Jesus, a part of Him. Someone who was without blame and was holy and perfect. And He sent him in to this world that creation messed up. Jesus taught about God’s nature and His kingdom as an official mouthpiece because the will of God had become so distorted. Sort of like it has become today. Then after three years of teaching, he turned himself over to the world that persecuted Him and as an example of sacrifice hung on a cross until dead. Where as before man’s nature sent perfect animals to be sacrificed to cover their sins, this time God himself was sent in human form to be the final sacrifice. And then, to show He was indeed God and was still perfect, He rose out of the grave, spent some time in final teaching with His followers and then ascended to Heaven. Leaving behind the new church.

So where does all of that put us? Why do Christians use the Bible as a weapon of condemnation and non-Christians turn up their nose at the thought of the Bible? Simply because they have failed to understand the overarching message and concept of the entire book.

Grace.

Grace is what happened when those who have done evil or simple little acts that were rebellious or displeasing to God are forgiven once and for all for eternity. Grace cannot be bargained for or earned by anything we do. But it was bought with a price and that was Jesus’ sacrifice. God used to see His people as forgiven by looking at them through their sacrifice but it was not permanent. Now He can look at them through the sacrifice of His son which is permanent.

Grace does not erase a sinner. The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian (beyond the belief of a God in the first place) is that was Christians we have made the acknowledgement that we have displeased God with our words and deeds and have asked God to cover us with the sacrifice of Jesus so he will see us a perfect and redeemed again. Don’t believe me? Ask ANY Christian if they still sin. If they say “no” they are a liar. But that free gift of grace changes our lives. It makes us want to please God. It makes us want to obey His commands. It makes us want to put Him in charge and as the focus of our lives so we can have more satisfaction in a world that is constantly unsatisfied.

Unfortunately this is only the start of the story and the start of the conversation. It is what I have taken away and learned over the past two years reading back through the Scripture in its entirety. I would invite you as my reader, as my friend to come and continue the discussion if this gave you any pause or you want to know a bit more. I don’t force my beliefs on anyone. I myself became a believer 12-years ago not because someone told me what to believe but because they allowed me to ask questions. I love this topic  and discussion so come and let me do the same for you and just be an open ear for your questions and a speaker and witness for the God I have grown to love.

May “the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Learn to Sew a Button and Fix a Seam – Complete

My adorable grandmother (who you can see her tell her life history here), was a seamstress for the better part of her life. Growing up, my mother would create a pile of ripped clothes, broken seams and clothes that could simply be expanded to account for growth in order to save money on new clothes. When my grandma would visit from Montreal she would spend half of her time lounging around with the family and half her time fixing up the clothes or making my mother a new dress. She was more disappointed if we did not have anything for her to do. I personally have patches in my childhood jeans, fixed shirts, fitted suits and a bath robe that I still to use as a credit to my grandmother’s skill.

When I set this goal it was always with my grandma in mind as my teacher. Even on the cusp of 94-years old she still loves sewing and fixing up clothes. So on one of her recent visits, I seized the opportunity to finally pay attention and learn parts of her craft. Plus, it allowed me to soak up more time with her. I love my grandma. That is an all around win.

We started with the button. I had learned to sew a button a few times when I was younger in Boy Scouts but it never clicked. Perhaps it is because I saw it as a chore rather than something I wanted to learn how to do. Now that I was ready to learn, my grandmother sat me down with a bunch of button and a piece of felt and taught me how to sew on a button. Then she made practice until I had sewn about 15 buttons to the felt. I think this time it stuck. I have since had to sew on a button at home and did it in about a minute.

The seam was much more difficult. I brought a pair of reversible athletic shorts. To fix the seam, my grandmother showed me that I had to open up several other seams to access the back of the first one. You typically want to actually sew on the back side of the seam so you don’t see the stitching on the outside. We used a machine to close up the hole but you can also use a zigzagging pattern if doing it by hand. We then worked our way back out closing the rest of the seams as we went. I got more practice than I expected with seams just on one pair of shorts.

I still think for the hard projects such as a suit fitting I will continue to defer to my grandmother or a professional seamstress. But it is nice to know I can make minor clothing repairs should I need to in a pinch. I am satisfied and enjoyed completing this one.

Pay Off Accrued Debt with Parents – Complete

This is sort of a complicated one to have off my list. While the debt to my parents is gone, my debt is not exactly gone. So I accomplished this goal in spirit but not in totality.

Back in college when I was out living my means I got into some credit card debt. My parents, not wanting to see my credit crushed, basically loving forced themselves into the situation and convinced me to let them pay off my credit card with the idea that I would one day pay them back interest free.

When I added this to my list, I expected to just simply write them a few checks and be done. However, I actually got the pleasure of doing something a bit cooler. My parents are building a new house in New Bern, NC which they expect to retire into. I was able to make contributions to the house and pay off the debt at the same time. They needed new appliances for the house so I was able to buy them a new oven, new dishwasher and new refrigerator. In addition to sending them some money to cover the balance, my debt to my parents will be paid off.

Now my debt to Sears is another matter. No fear though, this was budgeted ahead of time and with 0% interest for a year I will have the time to pay this off while decreasing the burden of new home items on my parents. I call it a win and goal completed.

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